On Saturday, July 23, qualifying took place before the French GP, the 12th stage of the Formula 1 season. In the first segment, Nicholas Latifi took 20th place on Williams – the high pace in the free races could not be confirmed.
Mick Schumacher looks weak at this stage – he is only 19th against the background of his partner getting into the third segment. The 18th line was left for Guanyu Zhou – after the accident in the UK, the Alfa Romeo pilot does not look so confident. Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll, who represent Alfa Tauri and Aston Martin, we’re unable to enter the second segment.
In the second segment, the fight turned out to be more persistent. The 15th place was left for Alex Albon in the Williams, and Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin beat him by only 0.031 seconds. Valtteri Bottas finished the qualification thirteenth. Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon failed to make it to the third segment. Although their partners in McLaren and Alpin were in the TOP 10. Let’s note an interesting decision by Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz – fines would have sent the riders to the end of the starting grid anyway, but they decided to go to the TOP 10. Carlos Sainz’s circle turned out to be especially phenomenal, although there was no way to overload the already problematic motor in terms of reliability. Nevertheless, the demonstration of strength from Sainz turned out to be quite good.
In the third segment of qualifying, Ferrari’s idea became clear – Carlos was handing out a slipstream to his partner, but in the first attempt, the drivers of the Italian team did not work very clearly.
However, this did not prevent Leclerc from beating his main rival by 0.008 seconds. In the second attempt, the slipstream has already turned out and Charles improved his time by almost 0.3 seconds. But Max drove a far from brilliant lap and starts second. We note the high third place of Sergio Perez, although the Mexican had problems all weekend.
In general, the pace of the Red Bull seemed higher in the racing series, so the race should be quite interesting. Mercedes did not fight with the leaders at all – Hamilton was fourth with a gap of almost a second, and George Russell lost even more and became sixth. Lando Norris in a McLaren cut in between them.
Fernando Alonso has the seventh line, and the fourth row of the starting field goes to Yuki Tsunoda. In the race, according to tradition, we will press the fight between Leclerc and Verstappen. It is also interesting to see the breakthrough of Carlos Sainz and whether Mercedes will be able to get into the fight with the leaders.